It is rumored that spring has arrived, so I wanted to present a recipe that is fun, different and tasty. This recipe can be an elegant and interesting Easter or spring dinner.
Breaded Veal Chops
stuffed with Creamed Spinach
Make filling first.
Creamed Spinach Deluxe
• 1Ú4 cup water
• 4 6-ounce bags baby spinach leaves
• 2 T. (1Ú4 stick) butter
• 1Ú3 cup chopped onion
• 1 bay leaf
• 1Ú2 dried small red chile, such as Japanese or de arbol
• 1Ú4 tsp. black peppercorns
• 1Ú4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1Ú4 teaspoon salt
• 11Ú4 cups whole milk
• 1Ú2 cup whipping cream
Bring 1Ú4 cup water to boil in large pot. Add half of the spinach to pot; toss until slightly wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Add remaining spinach to pot and toss until just wilted. Transfer spinach to strainer over large bowl. Press on spinach to release all liquid. Transfer spinach to work surface; coarsely chop. (Can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bay leaf, dried chile and peppercorns; sauté until onion is soft and not brown, about 3 minutes. Whisk in flour and salt. Cook until mixture is pale gold and has a nutty aroma, whisking constantly, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Boil until thick, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Strain béchamel sauce into medium bowl.
Heat cream in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Add béchamel, whisk until mixture is smooth and begins to simmer. Add spinach and stir until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tip: Be sure to remove as much water as possible from the cooked spinach (otherwise the finished dish may be watery instead of creamy.)
• 4 10-ounce bone-in veal chops
• 2 T. plus 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
• 1 cup bleached all-purpose flour
• 1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup milk
• 1Ú2 cup clarified butter
• 1Ú2 tsp. kosher salt
• 1Ú4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
• 1Ú2 orange bell pepper, chopped
• 1Ú2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
One at a time, using a sharp, thin knife, cut a slit into the side of the meaty part of each chop, about 3 inches long and 1 inch deep. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the bone. Gently open out the chop so the meat surface is twice as wide as before. Place the chop between two large pieces plastic wrap on a work surface. Using a flat meat mallet, pound the meat until 1Ú4 inch thick.
Season both sides of each chop with 1Ú2 tsp. of the Creole seasoning. Combine the flour with 1 T. of the Creole seasoning in a shallow bowl. Put the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl and season with remaining 1 T. Creole seasoning. Combine the eggs and milk in another shallow bowl and whisk to blend.
Dredge the chops in seasoned flour and shake off excess. Dip in egg wash, and then coat both sides with bread crumbs. Set on a baking sheet.
Heat the clarified butter in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Two at a time, add the chops and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Cut into a chop at the bone to check doneness; they should be barely pink. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the chops to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you cook the other chops.
Place a chop on each plate. Stuff with creamed spinach and garnish with chopped peppers.
• Molly Gingell is the owner of Molly's Gourmet Catering, takeout and cooking school at 220 W. John St. in Carson City.